View Full Version : Reducing Quad Inflamation

Kelly Frankson
05-24-2008, 09:19 PM
So I haven’t been doing much Crossfit lately, just focussing on O-lifting, but since Crossfit games are coming up and I had a week off Olifting before I start building up for the next competition I have been incorporating more Crossfit elements in this week. Friday morning I went out for breakfast with my 6am class and then when I returned to the gym Patty was doing Tabata Jumping squats with the 8am class and said I should jump in and I said "sure why not", so Patty handed me a 45lb bar and without warming up or doing any high metabolic exercises since December for some reason I decided it was good idea and without thinking about it or trying to go hard or fast I started off with 20 (my regular non weighted non jumping tabata squats are at 25 but I havent done them for a while), 20 became 18 became 17 became 16 and then in the 5th round I hit 14 and told myself that enough was enough and that I wasn't going to let it drop any further so I finished with 14 (so I did 127 45lb jumping squats in 160seconds) and surprise my quads started seizing up after.

I drank tons of water and ate lots of food and stretched them out and as the day went on they started to get warm and puffy. This morning my right leg felt much better, (still some puffiness but just a regular stiff muscle thing going on), but my left leg…was swollen from the knee to the hip bone and felt like there was fluid between the muscle and skin but yet I still have full range of motion-weirdest feeling ever, just felt sick.

I remember how sore my legs were after doing tabata squats my first day of crossfit but this is totally different, then it was muscle pain trying and difficult to walk up stairs, now the muscles themselves don’t hurt, it feels like the muscles aren’t there and its something in between the skin and muscles and walking down the stairs is the challenge.

Anybody have any tricks to get swelling in the quads down?

Derek Weaver
05-25-2008, 01:32 AM
Ice packs, ice baths etc.

I've never experienced anything like what you're dealing with. I'd think that if it doesn't subside soon, you may want to see a doctor. What's your range of motion like?

Garrett Smith
05-25-2008, 06:41 AM
Sounds like rhabdo to me. A visit to a doctor would be recommended. Was there ever any color change to your urine?

Elevating the legs will likely help. Mild compression may help (I'm not sure on that one). Ice, as was mentioned earlier (not heat). There's not a whole lot that can be done for the massive amount of microtrauma that you induced.

Dynamic eccentric loading is the worst culprit of rhabdo. Jump squats, done Tabata style, with ego/pride involved (ie. "getting 14 the last round") sound like a perfect recipe for rhabdo. Your strength allowed you to do a lot of reps, however, your muscle metabolism metcon-wise currently is probably a lot like a CF newbie based on your programming.

It's not a mistake unless one refuses to learn from it. Realize that you will likely not regain your leg strength for months while your body heals all of the damage.

Kelly Frankson
05-25-2008, 09:08 AM
As for Urine color it was kind of murky and dark yesterday but I've been overloading on water and today its clear.

Range of motion is good-going up stairs are not a problem at all, going down stairs its not that I cant make it go through the range of motion its just takes some thought and feels week. Even doing slow air squats is fine, however I wouldnt even attempt any weighted or jumping squats (and yes Garrett I think I learned my Lesson!)

Went to the Doctors..
His first comment was “Wow there is a lot of Inflammation”, but I think my favourite comment was “I don’t think there are any broken bones”-what bones am I going to break in my quad from doing jumping squats??? Then he asked me to demonstrate a squat and his response was “wow that’s a nice squat” and then he brought another dr. in and said “check out this squat” and commented on how strong I was (I sware If he asked me to do one more squat I was going to punch him) but then he showed the other doctor my quad and said he has never seen anything like it and that there is obviously some muscle strain but has no clue why there is so much fluid build up or what is causing it. They pretty much suggested I take lots of anti-imflamitorries and wrote a referral to see a physio and left it as “don’t do any more jumping squats and hopefully it will just go away on its own and the muscle will rebuild”.

Steven Low
05-25-2008, 10:58 AM
That's definitely rhabdo if your urine was reddish-brown from the myoglobin released when the muscle fiber bursts (generally from the eccentric loading... why would you tabata squats with a weight??).

Although that's really pretty odd that you swelled up but have NO symptoms of pain; most people with rhabdo complain that it hurts like a mother. Stay off it though. Keep hydrating. And really rest.. maybe light exercise. You need to let the muscles heal.

Not sure if you will be recovered enough for CF games though; depending on the extent of the rhabdo you may not be recovered for a couple months.

Garrett Smith
05-25-2008, 03:25 PM
If you're open to something like homeopathy, a trial of some Traumeel gel/ointment may be of some help.

BTW, I said the "mistake" comment because I've been there. Twice.

I think I had a mild case of rhabdo from my first "Tabata Something Else" workout, definitely from the squats. I was a catcher for a long time, thus air squats are something I was inherently decent at, allowing me to do some damage. The next almost-occurrence of rhabdo was when I came back after a CF layoff and did 50 GHD sit-ups combined with 20 decline situps (I think it was "Michael") and didn't recover my L-sit for about 6 months. All I can say is that I'm glad I wasn't competing with anyone in those workouts or the damage would have likely been worse. Men & women will definitely die for points (or pounds, or whatever).

Your 48-hour DOMS should be setting in today quite nicely.

Kelly Frankson
05-25-2008, 10:10 PM
I'm open to anything Garrett and will give Traumeel a try

Saw a rehab therapist today who spent 2hrs doing active release therapy on my leg. The nervous system was shut down (that’s why there was no “pain" as such and it was hard to walk down stairs because the nerves weren’t firing to that part of the leg) and a whole lot of things were out of alignment but now at least I have control over the quad. He spent most of the time working on the Facia (no clue how to spell it) tissue around the muscles and was able to reduce a lot of the inflammation. It is still weak and not normal, but definitely a step in the right direction.

Been trying to drink lots of water, but now I have a crazy headache that just wont go away...

and yes stephen I fully realize that worst part about it is that it was self induced-I know enough to know that doing 45lb jumping tabata squats after not doing metabolic conditioning for several months is a bad idea. Not going to crossfit games is not a big concern, but not being able to compete in my next o-lifting competition is the bigger issue which made me realize where my priorities lie and will help filter out any future ideas of attempting like things.

Steven Low
05-26-2008, 02:04 AM
Yeah, we'll see what's up once the nerves start firing again.

But yeah, it depends how bad the rhabdo was pretty much determines how long you'll have the weakness and lack of strength. The muscle needs to build new muscle fibers (pretty much the only time there's hyperplasia that I've seen..) to compensate which is a slow process unlike hypertrophy. You can still do stuff, but I wouldn't push it cause it's very easy to make it worse.

CF games or Oly within about 5 weeks.. you might be good to go or you might not. However, you will probably be fairly deconditioned which wouldn't lend towards good competition anyway. Try to keep your conditioning up with your upper body... possibly work on your weakness and find some other stuff to do.

Mike ODonnell
05-26-2008, 10:39 AM
Rehab and rest now....is better than excessive trauma and hospilization later. Don't take too lightly the situation you are in. Rest and listen to your body.

Derek Weaver
05-28-2008, 10:33 PM
Just wondering how the leg's feeling. How's the pain or lack thereof?

sarena kopciel
05-29-2008, 04:54 AM
Yeah Kelly, how ya doing? I saw you were gonna go back to your Olifting yesterday on your blog. Wasn't that way too soon? I am sure you would rather build and gain strength than be depleted in the end and have a break down:)

Kelly Frankson
05-31-2008, 05:23 PM
So...8hrs of stretch therapy latter my quad is doing MUCH better. Big issue was re-aligning my body-pelvis was tilted and pretty much everything from my hip to toe on the left side was out of alignment-kind of crazy, on Sunday my left leg was actually an inch shorter than my right, but now I'm all straight! In addition to fixing my alignment he also has been working on the facia tissue. Still a bit of inflammation but definitely SIGNIFICANTLY reduced-I have been using the Traumeel Garett, thanks for the recommendation.

Did absolutely nothing on the leg Friday-Wednesday and then Wednesday night returned to o-lifting to do light power work. Absolutely no squats, just worked on power snatches and cleans from high blocks working and getting full extension and then some light snatch deadlifts. Quad felt pretty good after the session (although I didn’t really use it for anything) although I could feel the outside of hip an the inside of the knee, but went straight from o-lifting to my sisters place (my sisters husband is my rehab therapist) and got things re-aligned again. On Friday I then went back and Power snatches and cleans from the ground (again with comparatively light weights and no full squats). Snatches felt really good, but with the cleans I was having problems generating power from the legs and just felt weak, but then today the light cleans felt much better and I was actually able to get some power transfer from the legs, but still no squats or anything heavy.

So progress is being made, but it will be a while before my leg will be at full strength. Starting to build it up slowly by doing low resistance rows and will start incorporating LIGHT squats to gradually re-build it. Will actually be good for me in that I rely on my leg strength way too much and tend to short the pulls (which I am not able to do power snatching and cleaning from high blocks).

Garrett Smith
06-01-2008, 11:52 AM
Glad to hear things are rehabbing well. Traumeel is amazing when used in the right situations (ie. "trauma", not simply DOMS, for example).

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-02-2008, 07:56 AM
I don't mean to butt in I just really was caught by this post. I have been haveing a hard time recovering from an intense workout in which I tried to catch up on a WOD Ihad missed due to being ill.

So I perhaps stupidly did "Jason" involving a tremendouse number (250) of body squats which I exploded through very proud of my mental dedication the sets were 4 declining in reps each time broken up by muscle ups 45 ascending in reps. The muscle ups took me so long I honestly felt fairly rested so although my legs were jello I ran a 7 minut mile then did 2 minutes of each of rows 35# dumb bel thrusters medicine ball cleans, pull ups and double unders. After this work out I no longer felt rested. I then ate alot. ate more and went to bed woke up three hours later feeling over trained and ate again. Inbetween eating drank lots of water. THe next day I fasted till 5 O clock about 15 hours and superhydrated in the meanwhile. during this time my legs began getting strangly sore, I thought nothing of it just figureing I worked hard. Then 5 days later and my legs were still extremely sore. I meen deeply aching hurts when I stand up and walk, massaging my quads feels intensely painfull deep inside the muscle. I had remained active but not training intinsely and decided not to be IFing untill this goes away. Now on the 6th day I am wanting to work out I think I will avoid squats I have much less pain today when walking up stairs and stuff but if i press my muscles there is that deep soreness that has been sticking with me an impresivly long time. I feel like I am being stupid and a sissy. I mean it seems as though that was a similar Work out to others I have had before but maybe my intensity was just ratcheted up a few notches and I stressed my legs.

I could really use some feed back. Is it a lesser version of what is going on in this thread?

Am I just over reacting or should I do something special to aid recovry befor re-engageing in the crossfit full on to avoid seriouse injury?

Is IFing a bad idea right now?

Oh yeah and I am in very good shape and have been crossfiting religousely for 6 months so I am sure its not just that never done this before type of thing.

Steven Low
06-02-2008, 09:18 AM
Doesn't matter how long you've been doing it; the heroes can always throw you for a loop.

If there's no swelling of the muscle you can probably chalk it up to super-intense soreness that lasts 6+ days (yes, there is such thing), but you probably did destroy some muscle fibers regardless because of the volume so I'd guess some minor rhabdo as well.

Stretch them and get some light movement to help alleviate said soreness. Massage.. if possible.